EEEGADS! Yet another winter storm is hitting the Colorado Rockies. At our ranch we have five foot fence posts that are completely buried under snow. My husband has moved snow into fifteen foot high piles with the backhoe. “I am grateful for the moisture God, as we had a drought last year, but I am so over shoveling!”
That’s why we’ve been watching golf on television. Beautiful locations with green grass and warm temperatures. The PGA (Pro Golf Assn.) is promoting a new slogan, “Live Under Par.” The campaign, “plays on golf’s unique scoring language to portray the relentless pursuit of excellence by the players, both competitively and in how they embrace the values of the game like sportsmanship and respect, as well as the PGA Tour’s ingrained mission of giving back. You don’t need a club in your hand to live under par, it is a way to be. To celebrate the mindset and spirit behind the constant pursuit of greatness.”
So how does this theme translate into our lives? Well first we need to define par. Par is the number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to need to complete and individual hole, or to complete all the holes on a golf course. For eighteen holes of golf, the par is the total number of strokes needed to complete the course.
For example, let’s say a hole is a par 5 for 527 yards. That means it would take five tries to hit your 1.68 inch ball, 1581 feet and get it to end up in the 4.25 inch golf hole to achieve par. Gosh, when I put it like that, I’d be happy to settle for par. But I don’t want to just settle in life. I want to live it to the fullest for the glory of God.
The golfers on tour are so good, they can shave strokes off the expected norm and have a round of golf under par. Take our example, perhaps they can get the small ball into the small hole in just three strokes. Then they are two under par. The player whose score is most under par wins the tournament.
Of course there are rules involved too. You take your first swing and the ball lands in an awful spot. The rules say you have to play it where it lies. But let’s say it lands directly up against the base of a tree. You can then ask for an official to come see your mess and ask for relief. (Usually one club length away from the lie.) God also gives us relief from our messes, we just need to ask Him for it.
We are not expert “golfers” in life, but amateur players and need all the help we can get. Amateurs get relief via handicaps. Which is a system of adjustment to the score system so that golfers of different skill levels can compete with one another without better players dominating the game. God gives each one of us our own unique gifts to use to further His kingdom, and if we mess up He gives us a mulligan. Which is a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder.
“God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.” (Ps. 145:14 [MSG])
We need to access the rule book of life, the Bible, to see how God wants us to live under par.
“The Bible is equally concerned with living on this earth—living well, living in robust sanity. Wisdom is the art of living skillfully in whatever conditions we find ourselves.” (Intro to Proverbs [MSG])
“God’s goal for our lives is that we live in complete and utter surrender to and dependence on Him. He built us to need Him. And it’s always His mercy to show us that need, whatever the cost. Living on mission with the Creator of the Universe is the most beautiful, purposeful thing we could do with our short time on earth. This is your purpose: to know God and make Him known. As we read the story of God through the Scripture, we know we are to love, without hesitation, every person God puts in our paths.” (Jennie Allen 3/12/19 blog post You Were Made for This, Proverbs 31 Ministries)
“God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.” (Ps. 119:33 [MSG])
So stay the course and live your lives under par! Barbara Frederickson sums it up beautifully from her book Positivity:
“First and foremost, your positivity is energizing to those around you. It’s a large measure of what makes you attractive. Also, it’s contagious. When you share your own joy, it ignites joy in others. The more you open up and share your heartfelt positivity with others, the stronger your connections to others become.”
© 2019 Fluffy Puppy Publishing All Rights Reserved